By Spencer Darlington
Reporting from the IAAF World Championships in London
Head coach for Jamaica’s team at the 16th IAAF World Athletics Championships in London Maurice Wilson has bemoaned the failure by Jamaica’s men’s 4x400m relay team to make it into Sunday’s final.
While expressing disappointment at the team’s failure to advance to the medal event, Wilson added that any four members of the relay pool that contest the semi-final heat should still be able to execute their responsibilities in a competitive manner to ensure their ticket for the final.
“Well we are all very disappointed,“coach Wilson told RJR Sports, while not attributing blame to any individual athlete.
“The coaching staff made a decision based off what transpired two days earlier with the two top finishers in the 400m flat. The staff felt that in order to get a shot at the medals we wanted to make sure that they were recovered properly. Yesterday (Friday) one of them who we had the intention of running had a problem in terms of just getting back his legs and we felt that we brought a pool of six athletes and it’s the responsibility of every athlete once they are here to make sure they are in shape to compete,” coach Wilson told RJR Sports.
“We would have loved for the team to qualify, but it is also difficult to be using the same person who would have run three rounds (flat 400m) and expecting them (individual finalists Nathon Allen and Demish Gaye) to run two rounds (of 4x400 relay) just as good. Unfortunately the team did not make it through and I think the coaching staff really has to take responsibility. But the intention at the end of the day was just to bring overall success to the country,” the head coach added, while declining to name which of the individual finalists had an issue.
The team of Peter Matthews, Steven Gayle, Jamari Rose and national record holder Rusheen McDonald could only manage fourth in their heat, clocking 3 minutes, 01.98 seconds after losing momentum on the final leg done by McDonald.
He said the same decision was taken for the women’s mile relay team (Novlene Williams-Mills) was rested for the semi-final) but noted that the coaching staff will take full responsibility for the mishap by the men’s team.
The women’s team of Anastacia Leroy, Anniesha McLaughlin-Whilby, Chris-Ann Gordon and Stephenie-Ann McPherson returned a season-best 3 minutes, 23.64 seconds to progress to the final.